Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2017, T20I series preview: Can the Men in Green maintain their winning habit?
After whitewashing Sri Lanka (SL) in the five-match ODI series, Pakistan will carry their winning momentum in to the three-match T20I series starting from 26th of October. The first two matches of the series will be played at Abu Dhabi and the series is scheduled to conclude at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Regular T20 players Upul Tharanga, Suranga Lakmal, Chamara Kapugedra, Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Milinda Siriwardene and Akila Dananjaya have pulled out of the series, citing security reasons. In August, Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala had guaranteed that the players would have no hesitation in travelling travel to Pakistan to play the final T20I, but the scenario has now changed.
Thisara Perera, who was the part of the World XI team that toured Pakistan in September this year, was satisfied with the arrangements made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and is ready to lead the side in the series.
In the absence of regular players, Perera is set to lead an inexperienced team, which includes six players from the ODI side.
Pakistan, meanwhile, are pumped up by the return of Mohammad Amir, who was ruled out of the ODI series due to a shin injury. The squad is similar to the one that took on the World XI in Lahore. The senior pro, Mohammad Hafeez, who played his last T20I in March in the West Indies, is back. Pakistan's top-order and strong bowling attack ensured they swept the ODI series and they will play a vital role in the T20I series as well.
Pakistan will definitely go into the series as favourites. However, the new faces in the Lankan side will also pose a challenge to the hosts.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Shinwari, Umar Amin.
Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Chathuranga de Silva, Minod Bhanuka.